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Reservoir Sedimentation and Flood Control: Using a Geographical Information System to Estimate Sediment Yield of the Songwe River Watershed in Malawi

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  • Kondwani G. Munthali

    () (Division of Spatial Information Science, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Ten-noudai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan)

  • Brian J. Irvine

    () (School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK)

  • Yuji Murayama

    () (Division of Spatial Information Science, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Ten-noudai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan)

Abstract

Severe watershed degradation continues to occur in the tropical regions of southern Africa. This has raised interest to harness and manipulate the potential of the watershed resources for human benefit as the populations grow. Songwe River is one such degrading watershed causing biennial flooding among other problems. In this study, climatic, land use, topographic and physiographic properties were assembled for this watershed and used in a process-based Geographical Information System (GIS) with the aim of determining the hydrological sediment potential of Songwe River watershed and quantifying possibilities of reservoir sedimentation. The study further aimed at determining the critical sediment generating areas for prioritized conservation management and the relationship between the increasing flood events in the floodplains and the rainfall trends. Based on hydrological runoff processes using the Pan-European Soil Erosion Risk Assessment (PESERA) model, the estimated amount of sediment transported downstream is potentially huge. Most of the sediment generation was established to be occurring in the upper sub-basin and specifically from built up village and degraded natural land. These trends have not only caused the increased flooding events in the lower sub-basin, but also pose a great sustainability risk of sedimentation to the proposed reservoir.

Suggested Citation

  • Kondwani G. Munthali & Brian J. Irvine & Yuji Murayama, 2011. "Reservoir Sedimentation and Flood Control: Using a Geographical Information System to Estimate Sediment Yield of the Songwe River Watershed in Malawi," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(1), pages 1-16, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:3:y:2011:i:1:p:254-269:d:10954
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Levin, Carol E. & Long, Jennifer & Simler, Kenneth R. & Johnson-Welch, Charlotte, 2003. "Cultivating nutrition," FCND discussion papers 154, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
      • Levin, Carol E. & Long, Jennifer & Simler, Kenneth R. & Johnson-Welch, Charlotte, 2003. "Cultivating nutrition," FCND briefs 154, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Ravi, S.B. & Hrideek, T.K. & Kumar, A.T.K. & Prabhakaran, T.R. & Mal, B. & Padulosi, S., 2010. "Mobilizing Neglected and Underutilized Crops to Strengthen Food Security and Alleviate Poverty in India," MPRA Paper 43094, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Ravi, S.B. & Hrideek, T.K. & Kumar, A.T.K. & Prabhakaran, T.R. & Mal, B. & Padulosi, S., 2010. "Mobilizing Neglected and Underutilized Crops to Strengthen Food Security and Alleviate Poverty in India," MPRA Paper 43037, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Ravi, S.B. & Hrideek, T.K. & Kumar, A.T.K. & Prabhakaran, T.R. & Mal, B. & Padulosi, S., 2010. "Mobilizing neglected and underutilized crops to strengthen food security and alleviate poverty in india," MPRA Paper 37492, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Pimentel, David, 2003. "Ecoagriculture: Strategies to Feed the World and Save Wild Biodiversity: Jeffrey A. McNeely and Sara J. Scherr, Island Press, Washington, DC, 2003, ISBN: 1-55963-644-0, 313 pp," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 513-514, October.
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    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:1387-:d:107202 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    reservoir; sedimentation; PESERA; conservation; degradation; sustainability;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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